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  1. #1
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default 'blacken curtains'

    Hello,

    I thought 'blacken' is a verb. But I came across this sentence from the movie 'Angels and Demons':

    "We must open the doors, tear down the blacken curtains and speak to our flock."
    I am assuming the intended meaning is 'dark' or 'black'. Is it old English?
    It is at 1:22:08 into the movie.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    After listening again a few times, I am not certain if he is saying "blackened curtains". That would make more sense, right? Sorry, my hearing is not too good, and I posted the original question after reading the subtitles, in which it says 'blacken curtains'.

  3. #3
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    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Hello,

    I thought 'blacken' is a verb. But I came across this sentence from the movie 'Angels and Demons':

    "We must open the doors, tear down the blacken curtains and speak to our flock."
    I am assuming the intended meaning is 'dark' or 'black'. Is it old English?
    It is at 1:22:08 into the movie.

    Thank you
    ......................
    I'm not a teacher
    .......................

    Are you sure it's not blackened?

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    . . . or even blackout?

  5. #5
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    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    http://www.blackoutcurtains.com/

    In the context of that film, it seems that Rover's suggestion fits.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    After listening again a few times, I am not certain if he is saying "blackened curtains". That would make more sense, right? Sorry, my hearing is not too good, and I posted the original question after reading the subtitles, in which it says 'blacken curtains'.
    Subtitles are often inaccurate. It could be a poetic usage, but I would imagine it's a mistake.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    . . . or even blackout?
    Sounds more likely to me. 'Blackout curtains' are used as a defensive precaution (to stop - for example - bomber pilots from identifying a target). The cleric (I assume) in the film is saying 'We must stop hunkering down, get out there and speak openly to the people'. 'Our flock' is a traditional metaphor used by people in a pastoral position* (apt word, it originally means something like 'like a shepherd') when talking about their congregation (another apt word, derived from the Latin grex [='flock']).

    b
    PS added missing word
    Last edited by BobK; 31-May-2011 at 17:55. Reason: Added everything except the 1st sentence!

  8. #8
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    @bobK,you are 100% right!! It is the Camerleng in the movie (I looked up the meaning and it said the origin of that word is Chamberlain), who says that line. Yes, that is what is saying (listening to his other lines) that they should speak openly to the people (Catholics) standing outside for the council to decide on who is the next Pope. They are waiting for the white smoke which indicates that they have elected the next Pope. That is the context.

    @Rover, No, I am not sure it is or not 'blackened'. I am not able to hear well.


    I don't know if it is ok to post a clip of that line and if it is ok, how to do it.

  9. #9
    riquecohen's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'blacken curtains'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    @bobK,you are 100% right!! It is the Camerleng in the movie (I looked up the meaning and it said the origin of that word is Chamberlain), who says that line. Yes, that is what is saying (listening to his other lines) that they should speak openly to the people (Catholics) standing outside for the council to decide on who is the next Pope. They are waiting for the white smoke which indicates that they have elected the next Pope. That is the context.

    @Rover, No, I am not sure it is or not 'blackened'. I am not able to hear well.


    I don't know if it is ok to post a clip of that line and if it is ok, how to do it.
    There can be no doubt that he was talking about blackout curtains, saying, essentially, that "we must let in the light."

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